The spotlight falls on Steve Bruce this weekend as his Hull City side prepare to face one of his former clubs, Birmingham City, at St Andrews.
The man with arguably the most distinctive nose in football (with apologies to Mick McCarthy – he’s just edged you out there, Mick) enjoyed a fairly eventful tenure as boss of the side known by some of their detractors as the Blue Noses.
Bruce secured promotion, a highest-ever Premier League finish, then relegation followed by an instant return before things ultimately went sour and his six-year spell at the helm came to an end in 2007 .
Although in truth, current Blues boss Lee Clark would probably love to have as varied a time as Bruce enjoyed at the club because at the moment, it has been all downs since he arrived from Huddersfield in the summer.
Birmingham sit 18th in the Championship, lost in the second round of the Capital One Cup (a competition they won in 2011) and have just five wins all campaign.
By contrast, Bruce seems to have landed on his feet at Hull (via a good spell at Wigan and a less good one at Sunderland) with the Tigers sitting fourth on the back of five wins in seven.
Bruce’s new team are 7/4 to continue their fine form, while Birmingham are 31/20 to get what would surely be a sweet success over their former gaffer, with the draw at 21/10.
Hull have established their lofty position in the table on the back of a seemingly win-or-bust approach that has seen them draw just once in 18 games this season, making Birmingham or Hull a decent shout in the double-chance market at 3/10.
This trend has seen the Tigers win more than they’ve lost overall and in particular when they score early, as they have a 100% record when leading at half-time.
New bwin customers who register here and back Hull/Hull at half-time/full-time with their free £20 bet would see a return of £90 should Bruce’s team lead at the interval and the final whistle.
Blues made an appalling start under Clark, falling as low as 22nd place, but seem to have turned the corner lately and are on a six-game unbeaten run.
So if Birmingham can keep it level for the first 45 minutes, as fellow strugglers Bristol City and Ipswich have against Hull recently, then they could even come away with all three points.
Draw/Birmingham is available at 21/4 in the half-time/full-time market, with a repeat of last season’s 0-0 draw a more conservative but longer-odds punt at 15/2.
However, Bruce seems to have Hull set up to go the distance – they have scored ten goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season – and I fancy them to edge this one by a score of 2-1 or 3-1.
This leads me directly to bwin’s multiple correct score market, where Hull are 21/4 to prevail 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1 and at such a lengthy price, that’s the way I’ll be going to hopefully secure a sizeable return on this one.